Kadima chairman Shaul Mofaz, whose party may not even be in the next Knesset, is trying to stop the government from adopting parts of the Levy Report, which concluded that there is no “occupation” and international law allows Jews to live in Judea and Samaria, as its status was not that of a nation in 1967.
On Wednesday, Mofaz contacted Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein and asked him to intervene immediately and stop Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's reported plan to bring some of the report’s conclusions for government approval.
“Since October 15, 2012, the eve of the dissolution of the 18th Knesset, the Israeli government serves as an interim government, and as such it is subject to a legal and moral obligation to act with restraint, especially when it comes to decisions that have significant public and political importance, on both the international and local level,” Mofaz wrote Weinstein.
He added that "it is precisely at this time, three months before the end of the term of the current government and its dissolution, the Prime Minister is rushing to decide on a material issue that requires discussion and examination and which will have long-term implications, both at the internal Israeli level as well as at the foreign affairs level.”
Moreover, noted Mofaz, such a move “would obligate the next government, by virtue of the principle of continuity of government, and thus cause damage that cannot be repaired.”
"It is apparent that the Prime Minister’s rapid action to approve the report and adopt its conclusions, on the eve of elections, does not meet the test of ‘essential public need for action’ and therefore requires avoiding a decision at this time, three months prior to the elections.”
Mofaz concluded his letter by requesting that Netanyahu be instructed to avoid reaching any resolution on the issue and to let the citizens of Israel decide on that matter at the ballots.
The Levy Report was presented to the Prime Minister this past summer after months of study by former High Court Justice Edmund Levy and two other legal experts. They contradicted the view of the international community, strongly supported by the Obama administration, that a Jewish presence in Judea, Samaria and in united Jerusalem is illegal.
Netanyahu effectively shelved the report by setting it aside for further study, but with elections coming up, he now will reportedly recommend adopting part of the recommendations. His sudden change reflects increasing pressure from nationalists in the Likud as well as those in the coalition Jewish Home party and the Opposition National Union party, both of which are running on a combined slate in the January elections.
However, it is probable that the government will make more promises than concrete changes in policies before the elections.